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Continuing professional development (CPD) is a way for professionals to keep learning about their job, develop new skills, and stay up to date with industry trends.
If you’re an employer, continuing professional development can keep your staff engaged and make sure they’re meeting quality and regulatory standards. While for an employee or self-employed person, it’s a chance to up-skill or fill gaps in your knowledge.
Here we’ll explain the importance of continuing professional development and how it can help you and your business thrive.
CPD is important in any industry, whether you’re a small business owner, self-employed, or a bigger business looking to grow.
First, let’s explain why continuing professional development is important for employers:
As for the benefits of continuing professional development for employees, these include:
A restaurant owner needs to follow a range of legal and regulatory requirements. From understanding major food allergens and health and safety for hospitality businesses to providing good customer service.
Example continuing professional development courses for restaurants include:
CPD training can be done online or in-person through a range of methods:
While the above examples are more formal methods of CPD training, it’s also possible to continue learning by reflecting on news articles or reading books by industry experts.
Continuous learning is particularly important if you’re registered with a regulatory body as you’ll often need to complete specific training to keep your membership.
If you work in industries like health and social care, engineering, hospitality, or construction, for example, it’s likely that you and your staff need to regularly demonstrate continuing professional development.
Another example is if you’re a yoga teacher and registered to an industry body like Yoga Alliance; you’ll need to complete a set number of continuing education hours to maintain your registration status.
If you’re an employer, chances are you regularly hold appraisals with your staff to help keep them on track and manage their performance. These meetings are also an opportunity to discuss any training and development opportunities.
You might also have annual courses that everyone in the business needs to complete, for example health and safety training or compliance modules.
A training and development plan should consider things like:
Now you’ll need to write down the key steps you (or your staff) plan to take to continue learning, noting any specific courses along with dates they’ll be completed. It’s a good idea to regularly review how this action plan is going, and evolve it over time if you need to.
It can also be helpful to break your CPD plan down into the following sections:
The CPD Certification Service lists approved CPD courses by industry, from engineering and IT to construction and education. You should also check directly with the regulatory body for your sector to stay on top of required education and training.
Read our guide to legal regulations for small businesses to make sure you’ve not forgotten anything important. And download our HR toolkit to help you create the right policies and processes for your business.
Do you encourage continuing professional development in your business? Let us know in the comments section below.
Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.
We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer
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